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Newborns at UC Irvine Medical Center get red beanies, head start on heart health

February 07, 2014
Red beanie on baby for Beanies for Babies

Newborns at UC Irvine Medical Center will sport red beanies instead of the traditional pink or blue ones throughout February in celebration of the American Heart Association’s Babies Go Red campaign.  Parents will also receive heart healthy lifestyle tips and other resources for raising their families. 

Babies Go Red encourages parents to create a healthy foundation for their new baby by changing some of their own habits and adopting new and healthy ones as a family.  Parents will receive tips for leading healthier lives as well as a “Picture and a Promise” card that families can fill out together as a promise to change bad habits.

On their card, families are encouraged to adopt at least one healthy habit, such as:

  • Getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily
  • Controlling cholesterol
  • Eating better
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing blood sugar
  • Eliminating smoking

Small changes can make a big difference

“Parents who have healthy diets and physical activity as part of their regular routines will help their entire family reduce the risk of chronic illness and promote overall good health,” said Dr. Anjan Batra, a UCI Health pediatric cardiologist.

“Habits established in childhood often carry over into adulthood,” he said. “Parents who teach their children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their lives.”    

One in three children and teens are overweight or obese which can cause a broad range of health problems including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels. Teaching young children healthy habits can reduce their risk of heart disease in adulthood.

Families are deeply affected by heart disease as it is estimated that 43 million women are currently living with cardiovascular disease and nearly 1,100 mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers are dying each day from it. According to the American Heart Association, more women than men have died each year from heart disease since 1984 and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen. 

It is estimated that 2,000 babies will be born at participating Orange County hospitals during the month-long celebration of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, now in its 10th year.  Fodada, a Corona del Mar-based company, created and donated the red caps to UC Irvine Medical Center.

Dr. Anjan Batra is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology, and serves as an associate professor and vice chair in the Department of Pediatrics at University of California, Irvine.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 13 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's national movement, created by women, for women, dedicated to uncovering the truth about women and heart disease: heart disease can kill you or a woman you love.  With more women dying of cardiovascular disease than the next three causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer that is preventable. GoRedForWomen, a premier source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into life-saving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co. Inc., with additional support from our cause sponsors.